The Idaho Women’s Business Center, hoping to help Native American and minority female entrepreneurs in the area, has opened its first northern Idaho office inside the Moscow Chamber of Commerce.

IWBC Executive Director Diane Bevan said one of the nonprofit organization’s missions is to assist underserved, minority and rural area female entrepreneurs, but the organization serves all women.

IWBC North Associate Director Tatiana Morales, who will operate the Moscow office, said her focus will be providing outreach to Latina and Native American female business owners and entrepreneurs. For example, she said she will create bilingual programs and mentoring and networking events that are offered in English and Spanish.

“One of my biggest focuses is just reconnecting with the Moscow, Idaho, community as a whole and all of the business owners here,” Morales said.

She said she is excited to learn business’s needs and potentially create programs to help Moscow and the Palouse’s economy.

“She is amazing,” Bevan said of Morales. “We are so confident in the value that she’s going to bring to northern Idaho.”

Morales has already met with clients and partners like the University of Idaho.

“We are already putting plans in place to positively impact the women entrepreneurs of northern Idaho,” Bevan said.

Morales is familiar with Moscow. She attended the UI from 2014 to 2018, graduating with bachelor’s degrees in political science, Spanish and international studies.

She said she is happy to be back on the Palouse and has enjoyed getting to know business owners.

“These people are so giving and have the biggest hearts,” Morales said.

Bevan said IWBC has offices in Nampa, Boise, Twin Falls, Burley, Idaho Falls and now Moscow.

She said she chose to lease an office at the Moscow Chamber of Commerce because of the chamber’s similar mission to the IWBC.

“I think it’s a great partnership for us to be with any chamber of commerce just because the goal of a chamber of commerce is to serve small business owners,” Bevan said. “Our goal is to help women open and start successful businesses so it really is a great marriage.”

Moscow Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jenny Ford said part of the chamber’s mission is to support entrepreneurialism.

“We take that role really seriously and we also want to provide resources and access to platforms that are beneficial to not only entrepreneurs in general, but specifically for the platforms that the Idaho Women’s Business Center is supporting,” Ford said.

A ceremonial opening event for the IWBC’s Moscow office is scheduled virtually at 2 p.m. Dec. 2. Those who wish to participate can register at idaho women.org. Special guests will include local, state and federal leaders like Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch, UI President Scott Green, Gov. Brad Little and Moscow Mayor Bill Lambert.

Garrett Cabeza can be reached at (208) 883-4631, or by email to gcabeza@dnews.com.

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